Jigsaw yourself calm: Jigsaw puzzles and mindfulness
In the hectic stresses of modern life, it’s no surprise mindfulness has become the buzzword of recent years. Sales of colouring books have soared as adults continue to seek out new ways to relax and recharge away from their desks and electronic devices. With a huge range of benefits, it’s important to try and fit mindfulness into our everyday busy schedules, but how else can you practise it?
Jigsaw puzzles allow the brain to relax while keeping the hands busy. Much like popular adult colouring books, they provide a calming distraction from hours spent staring at screens, whether that’s a computer, TV or even a phone. An easy way to channel the imagination, a jigsaw puzzle gives you a creative outlet whilst keeping your hands busy and your mind focused.
Because of their calming qualities, completing a hard or challenging jigsaw puzzle can have serious effects on your mood. We all know the satisfaction of finally finding where that last piece goes, but this actually encourages the production of dopamine, the chemical in your brain which helps keep us happy and healthy. These mood enhancing effects help to lower our heart rate and blood pressure, allowing us to release stress and tension. These benefits make jigsaws extra beneficial for those who suffer from stress or anxiety.
In order to use jigsaw puzzles to be more mindful in day to day life, we recommend finding a more difficult puzzle that has 500 or 1000 pieces - particularly with an image that speaks to you or catches your eye. You can learn to manage frustrations that arise when sifting amongst the other 900 pieces in the box to find the piece you need, really concentrating, taking away other distractions.
Completing a jigsaw puzzle can even put our brains into the same meditative state that we experience while dreaming! So why not take some time out away from work and your phone to complete a jigsaw and see how it can help focus your brain and relax.
If you need help deciding where to start, here are some of our favourite jigsaw puzzles for practising mindfulness:
This sparkling still life by Van Gogh is a peaceful puzzle full of calming colours. You can even get this puzzle in an extra difficult cut so that you can practise mindfulness for hours on end!
Escape to the countryside with this relaxing garden jigsaw puzzle filled with flowers. Take some time to yourself just like the lady in the puzzle and enjoy the peaceful scene.
Transport yourself with this captivating scene above Santorini, and unwind like you're on holiday whilst you complete the cobbled streets up the hillside.